Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog

Thanksgiving. The most American day of the year. More American, perhaps, than the Fourth of July. Throw in a hyperbolically American venue---Texas stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys---and you've got Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (also now in theaters). For the heroes of Bravo squad, barnstorming the U.S. on a brief victory tour to rile up … Continue reading Billy Lynn’s Long Thanksgiving Slog

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a diplomatic noir

At PeaceCorpsWorldwide author and reviewer John Rouse calls Two Pumps for the Body Man "Reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s famous and equally hilarious anti-war novel Catch-22." Ben East’s humorous yet deadly serious diplomatic noir  Two Pumps for the Body Man should be required reading for any youngster contemplating a foreign service career along the conflict-torn borders of the vast American empire. It’s … Continue reading a diplomatic noir

What is the WOT

Three novelists offer their views of Two Pumps for the Body Man, a satire about life on the front line of the War on Terror. ...the pace is fast... Two Pumps is a page-turner, baby, and it takes some real balls to satirize the great Christian crusade of our times. ...a wry ode to the cluster-f*** of … Continue reading What is the WOT

Kingly Reads for the Throne

Eight great books to get you through those lonely moments with the fan on. Presented in no particular order—the right book will depend on your mood, and the size of the job before you. 1. The Onion Ad Nauseum This is closest to reading the old classic: an actual newspaper. It’s a little heavy to … Continue reading Kingly Reads for the Throne

Review: Shriver

Chris Belden’s Shriver might be called a book about a novelist who wrote a book called Goat Time which everybody seems to enjoy but nobody seems to have read, at least not entirely, including not the author Shriver himself. Add to this nonsensical loop a few day’s worth of swarming mosquitoes, a crate or two … Continue reading Review: Shriver

Review–Pathologies

If laughter is good medicine, William Walsh presents sick remedy in Pathologies. His short collection of diseased proceedings is more than the sum of its madness. Walsh is a gifted writer, by turns astounding with sharp phrases and surprising with brief, unpredictable arcs. One way to treat this is by engaging the peculiar brilliance of individual … Continue reading Review–Pathologies

Review–Old Sparky

My copy of Old Sparky—The Electric Chair and the History of the Death Penalty arrived the day after a federal jury ended 14 hours of deliberation during which they concluded that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserved death for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon attack. This was no accident. I requested the copy as a means of examining … Continue reading Review–Old Sparky

Banned Reading

Did you know that Popular Online Vendor X bans "distasteful content" from honest reviews of the very books they'd be happy to sell you? That's right: reviews of books full of obscenities sold on their site won't be posted if those reviews contain the same profane, immoral, or distasteful content as the product they want you to buy. I tried for two weeks to … Continue reading Banned Reading

Review: Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!

This review appears in the latest issue of Crime Factory magazine--the excellent Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! by Douglas Lindsay. Enjoy, coffee drinkers and Beatles lovers! Before Douglas Lindsay’s Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! descends into nightmare, the narrative hints at a story about the ho-hum life: the humorous musings of a middle-aged man resigned to a tired … Continue reading Review: Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!

Review: Black River by S.M. Hulse

This brilliant debut was released January 21: Beneath the surface of Black River, the taut debut by S.M. Hulse, flows the grey enigma of ultimate justice. The narrative forces  the reader to ask: Does a recidivist criminal capable of torture, yet claiming to have found Jesus, deserve parole? Or would such redemption be an injustice to the … Continue reading Review: Black River by S.M. Hulse